About Me

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I write and live with my beautiful wife, Sandra, and sons (Solstice, Finnegan and Brahms) in a little-big house on a dirt road in a valley in the hills. My secret identity struggles through the grind of teaching high school English to the denizens of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A philosophical thought

"Nothing is real; and nothing to get hung about." John Lennon and Paul McCartney

I was thinking this morning about illusion. The thing about gnostic thought that aligns most with my intuit understanding of the world is that everything is an illusion. I'm not, of course, an illusion, at least, not that observer, that inner spark that looks out at the illusion and sees what is indicated that is false and what is real. Anyone who has fallen in love knows that the other people around us aren't illusions, however many illusions we put in front of ourselves or trick ourselves into believing about ourselves.

What if it is all an illusion? That would mean the only real thing is us. If that is true how precious is each and every one of us. We are like the stars dropped into a vast empty space and yet we light the night, we guide sailors to harbor, we have the future written in the vast networks we make in the night sky, we help mystics find the christ child. Extended metaphor aside: if we could only see life like this all the time, life itself would change...

How could we be cruel to each other, lose sight of each other's humanity, when all we have that is real is each other? How could we become confused that money or race, or anything else is more important than our fellows.

Also: as a fantasy writer I think I am constantly subconciously playing with the idea that all is an illusion. The federal reserve is an illusion, yet if enough people believe in it, it becomes some kind of illusory nightmare, some Frankenstein overlord that throws people out of their homes, eats and is always hungry. So goes with all our pursuits, our creeds, our institutions.

Which means unicorns exist. I've seen them.

So take a minute as you are consuming the illusory turkey this week, and maybe sitting back to watch your illusory football games and look at who is on the counch beside you, or who is asking for the imaginary dinner rolls across the table. Peering out though those two imaginary portholes in those ridiculous looking heads is the real deal. Those are the lights that shine out, some confused, some scared, some truly unaware of their own brightness, but lights none the less to brighten and guide your way. Be thankful for them. Know that the only thing to break this illusion, to bridge the long fathoms of space is that light, and that light is love.

You can believe in your little illusions, it is a free world. Try not to get confused into thinking a group of shining lights is the illusory enemy. Meet each light with the respect and the awe that is required when meeting that tiny celestial ember of the divine fire.

Finally, if this supposition be true, than world peace, is attainable, just as a goal line, or a sung song is attainable, it happens when any two lights meet, it happens purely through perspective.

And, yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Love and peace to you and yours,


Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm a fantasy writer.

I know this seems silly, but I have come to a realization. I am a fantasy writer. I'm not a science-fiction writer. Everything I try to write that is science fiction just doesn't want to meet the parameters of what is realistic according to the erstwhile editors of science-fiction publications. I guess this makes sense. I love Ray Bradbury, and he even said that he was a fantasy writer. He said that only fahrenheit 451 could be considered true science fiction. I'm not sure, but maybe it is because I see the value of science fiction as providing allegories for life. I guess I'm just not interested in what kind of external devices that mankind may come up with in the hopes to solve an essentially internal problem, he (or she) is not happy, and they forget to be kind and thoughtful to each other, their home, and to themselves.

I do love dreams, and their limitless possiblities. What is a story, but a shared dream. So, I will embrace my fantasy writing reality. Hopefully, I can avoid any confused/and confusing rejections from folks who seem to appreciate my creative efforts, but do not see how my story technically fits into their publications.

I'm not really a horror writer, either, but do delve into some pretty dark fantasy. I'm not interested in splatter punk, seriel killers or the like. I have a lot of trouble ever coming up with suspense stories. I'll still try to trick horror editors into accepting my fanciful stuff. I do write about fears in a most allegorical fashion.

I hope to write more news here soon. My wife says she wants me to give a reading in Waterford on the 3rd. My colleagues in the Language Arts department have read my story. One of them wants to teach it to his "Contemporary Voices" Lit. class. Well, that should be interesting. I wonder how adolescents will take to a story about parental fears...

I'll keep you updated.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Stephen King's new book

Stephen King's new book is out. I used part of my earnings as a writer to pre-purchase Under the Dome. I expect it to arrive in the next couple of days. I am very excited. I always enjoy Mr. King's writing, but this one sounds like a particular winner. I will write a review when I have finished it. If you have never really given Stephen King a chance, you should I think he is the best writer alive, and I would love to meet him in person some day. I haven't read absolutely everything by the man, but I have read a lot. These are the books I have found the most entertaining:

1. Salem's Lot
2. "Everything's Eventual" (anthologized under the same title)
3. It
4. The Dead Zone
5. "The Mist" (anthologized in Skeleton Crew)

But, that's just a start. There are so many works that are underappreciated:
Such as:
Cell- This apocalyptic Zombie book is a work of allegorical genius. The thing captures life during and after 9/11 to a T. I am surprised that more people haven't written of this. The book is full to the brim of commentary on life in George W. Bush's America. So many people say that there is no good post 9/11 literature. They haven't read King. Also check out "The Things They Left Behind" in Just after Sunset. The short story captures the fall out from this tragedy with power. I hope Stephen King keeps writing for years to come. People will look back a hundred years from now and they will read, teach, and recommen King as the voice of his times.

On the writing front, I have written a supernatural ghost story for an anthology for young adults and I keep on sending out stuff every chance I get. I have put off editing my novel for a couple of months until after the holidays in the hopes that the winter will give me more time and hopefully to sell a few more yarns, as well.

Also, if you have never read, Grapes of Wrath, do it now. I'm teaching the book, and I was amazed at how relevant it is in the light of the recession and the bank by outs and all of that rigamarole. I watched Capitalism: A Love Story and was shocked to hear word for word some reactions of the evicted Americans with the voices of displaced farmers in Steinbeck's masterpiece.

Well, Go well and Stay well as they said over and over again in Cry, The Beloved Country.